Ilves elected: A national sigh of relief
A dynamic leader for a dynamic country
With the election of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the nation of Estonia breathed a collective sigh of relief this past Saturday. “No longer,” said one young Estonian quite bluntly, “are we to be embarrassed by our president.”
But it wasn’t only the young who were celebrating. Many pensioners felt Mr. Rüütel, soon to be 80, was simply too old and senile to do the job.
Of course not all were happy with the results. Villu Reiljan, Minister of the Environment, when asked in a radio interview if he was disappointed with Ilves’ victory, answered, “Of course. I am an Estonian.” Reiljan, among others, had attempted to paint Ilves as a foreigner (Ilves was born in Sweden, raised and educated in the USA). Most Estonians, however, saw Reiljan and his camp as sore losers.
For City Paper’s part, our hat is off to President-elect Ilves. May you, sir, despite a lack of official power granted by the constitution, effectively and wisely use the bully pulpit.
Mr. Ilves will take his oath of office in two weeks.